$13 billion national affordable housing fund launches in Vancouver

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Officials highlighted the launch of a $13.2 billion fund to support affordable housing projects across Canada in Vancouver today.

“The challenge that we face is trying to ensure that housing we’ve been creating is truly affordable to households with lower incomes that are frankly most deeply affected by the housing crisis that we’re facing in this city,” says City of Vancouver senior planner Dan Garrison.

Left to right: Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough, Vancouver Centre Liberal MP Hedy Fry, Atira Women’s Resource Society CEO Janice Abbott, and City of Vancouver senior planner Dan Garrison

“Through both the National Housing Strategy and the Co-Investment Fund that’s being announced today, we feel excited at the opportunities that will be created not only to produce more housing supply but to ensure that it’s affordable to households with the deepest needs in our city,” says Garrison.

The National Housing Co-Investment Fund (NHCF), which falls under Canada’s National Housing Strategy, will create up to 60,000 new affordable units and support repairs for up to 240,000 existing units over the next 10 years.

The NHCF will also:

  • Create or repairs for at least 4,000 shelter spaces for survivors of family violence
  • Build at least 7,000 new affordable units for seniors
  • Create at least 2,4000 new affordable units for people with developmental disabilities

Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough says the fund “will prioritize projects that go above and beyond the mandatory requirements of affordability, energy efficiency and accessibility.”

The housing projects built or repaired through the fund must achieve a 25 per cent reduction in energy and greenhouse gas emissions over national building and energy codes.

Projects must ensure that 20 per cent of the units meet NHCF accessibility standards. A target of 33 per cent of the investment will be dedicated to support projects that serve the needs of women and girls.

“Vancouver is one of the cities where the cost of living is the highest and it’s absolutely important for the federal government to try to do its best to not only support housing creation and renewal but what we believe would be the type of housing of the future,” says Caroline Sanfaçon, CMHC’s VP of affordable housing, investments and lending.

Up to $200 million worth of federal lands will be made available to social and affordable housing providers at a discount or no cost to encourage affordable housing developments.

Qualtrough says they recognize that country’s population growth and demographic shifts will affect Canada’s housing needs. “That’s why we are committed to keeping housing on the federal government’s agenda for generations to come.”

The NHCF was first announced earlier this month in Toronto by Jean-Yves Duclos, the Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The Vancouver launch was held at the Atira Women’s Resource Society’s Sorella Housing for Women and Children.